# Navigation Light Switch Panel with warning lights

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by Blain Albin, Mar 24, 2009.

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### Blain AlbinNew Member

I am attempting to build a navigation light panel that will turn on a warning light or buzzer if one of the nav light burn out. The system is 12 VDC. I have a circuit diagram I found in the Transport Canada Electrical Standards book but can't seem to get my head around a certain part of it. I have included a picture of the diagram and circled the area that doesn't make sense to me. I wondered if someone could explain in words what happens here and the components that make it work. I just don't see how it would work the way it is displayed here.

If anyone has any better ideas i would love to hear from you.

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### CDKretired engineer

I also don't understand the circled part and I spent the last 60 years learning, building and designing electrical/electronic circuits.

The simplest way to check the filament of a light bulb is use a LED and a 1 K-ohm resistor connected in series to the contacts of the light switch. If the contacts of the master switch are closed and those of the light switch are open, the LED will emit light if the bulb is OK.
The same principle is used in all cars to show that several circuits are OK.

To get a signal when the lamp is powered is a bit more difficult. You must sense the current in the circuit. For that you need a few more parts, like a transistor and a wire wound resistor of 0,5 - 1,5 ohm, depending on the type of lamp you will be using.

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### Blain AlbinNew Member

CDK
I know, that diagram just doesn't make sense. I thought maybe that circled part was some kind of relay but I gave up on that after playing with a couple relays all afternoon.

The current sensing circuit intrigues me. Would you be able to provide a circuit diagram for this. The navigation light is 25W so that means about 2A.

Thanks for the response.

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### CDKretired engineer

This circuit measures current in the negative lead and draws no current itself when the lamp is off. For the transistor, any small NPN type can be used.

The same can be done in the positive lead if you mirror the circuit and use a PNP transistor.

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### jfkalJunior Member

Mirror the diagram

Dear CDK,

how exactly do you mirror this diagram for 12V + use? My electronics know hoe is a bit rusty. Do you just "turn around the diode", use 12V + at the T's (inverted) and - where it says 12V +?

Thx

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### CDKretired engineer

The circuit I posted senses the current through the 0.33 ohms resistor to ground.
With the resistor in the positive lead you use a PNP transistor (i.e. 2N2907) with its emitter connected to + and the LED mirrored and connected to ground.

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### jfkalJunior Member

Thanks

Dear CDK,

many thanks indeed.

Best regards

Joerg

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### warddSenior Member

couldn't you use 2 lamps of equal power requirements in series and double the circuit voltage

the one problem is determining which bulb is out

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### jfkalJunior Member

That attracts even more issues. The nav light also goes out if the control bulb blows (not desirable). Also you would need 6V bulbs and beef up the cable to the mast head as doubling the voltage introduced more expensive circuitry which can fail also.
The circuitry proposed probably cost less then a "control bulb" alone. Needs some soldering though

10. ### Submarine TomPrevious Member

What if your warning light burns out?

How about you use your time and money to install LED's on a photo-electric sensor.

They'd never burn out in your life time and if wired to your ignition, would come on automatically at dusk or low light situations.

-Tom

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### ellawendyJunior Member

i'm trying to do the same thing with a 24 VDC supply and 40 watt lamps and i'll need to activate a buzzer too, i'll be glad if you helped me because am still a beginner

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